Monday, July 30, 2012

Samsung updates ChatON with Olympic buddy feature, tells the latest on London 2012 games

Who needs real life friends when you have all your virtual buddies online and available to chat with 24/7, right? If you’re rather partial to Samsung’s ChatON instant messaging app, the phone maker has just updated the app with more features and bug fixes.
The first thing you probably notice when you load the app is the new ChatON logo, but the other changes do go beyond skin deep. Being one of the major sponsors of the 2012 Summer Olympics, it’s only natural for the company to try and bring the excitement over to customers. Hence, you can now befriend an Olympic buddy on ChatON to get the latest on the epic competition.
From checking for daily schedules, and seeing which country is on top on the medal tables, to getting breaking news when Michael Phelps breaks yet another world record – leave it all to your Olympic buddy to bring them to you.
If you’re running ChatON on a phone, here’s what else you can expect to see on the new version:
Walkie-talkieSkin/Bubble downloadTyping statusEdit buddy’s nameImage zoom-in/out
And here’s the rest of the change log for tablet owners:
Animation EmoticonsBuddy SuggestionSend documentsApp Lock
Samsung’s ChatON doesn’t discriminate when it comes to people’s choice of mobile platforms. The app works on iOS and BlackBerry devices as well, so feel free to share the Olympic excitement with all your Android and non-Android buddies. Get the app now from Google Play Store.

SOURCE: View the original article here

SandroProxy: Increasing your privacy and security when Web browsing on Android

Whether we’re on a trip, at work, or even at home, Web browsing has become a part of our daily life. Mobile phones have allowed us to keep connected to the Internet wherever we go. Browsing, however, has a few perils. You could come across harmful malware or viruses that could damage your device, or worse, steal your log-in credentials. It’s only natural for us to seek something that could improve our browsing security and data protection. The more crucial our data are, the more reason we need to tighten their security. Let’s take some time to check out a new Android app for privacy and security when Web browsing.
SandroProxy, a free app developed by XDA Developers member SandroBSupp, is here to help you achieve tighter browser security. It is simple and easy to use since it’s based on the WebScarab Project, patterned from a plug-in architecture that focuses mostly on security.

Once you open SandroProxy, you will see three tabs namely Log, Data, and Apps. On top of these tabs are icons such as the Play arrow, Wrench, and Information icon. The Play arrow, as the name implies, starts the proxy service. The Wrench opens the settings, while the Information icon processes a request for user permission, which then allows you to view your network information. The Log tab is responsible for tracking all relevant actions you do and making sure that they are displayed properly on screen.
You also don’t need to worry even if your phone is not yet rooted since SandroProxy doesn’t require it. All you need to do is to hit the Play button and the app will serve as an SSL MITM proxy (Secure Socket Layer Man-In- the -Middle-proxy). Your HTTP/HTTPS requests will be redirected through a web server, making your sent and received data invisible and, thus, protected.

If your phone is rooted, on the other hand, you will be given the chance to access a transparent proxy, a network layer proxy which, in turn, redirects the traffic needed by your phone for proxy identification. The only traffic that this proxy modifies are those which are absolutely necessary for proxy identification and authorization.
Understanding the process of networking will be an advantage in using this app, but this doesn’t mean beginners can’t access SandroProxy. They might, at first, have a hard time understanding the concepts involved in the app, but they sure would not have a problem in accessing its basic services.

SandroProxy is a free app but comes with ads. Nevertheless, the app proves to be a very reliable tool for protecting your browsing data. If you’re concerned with your privacy while browsing the Internet and want to take your phone’s privacy to the next level, then SandroProxy is worth checking out.

SOURCE: View the original article here

Patent smackdown: Apple teams up with Microsoft to bid against Google and Android OEMs for Kodak’s patents

The patent arms race is reaching a feeding-frenzy stage. Over the past months, we’ve witnessed a series of high profile legal spats between the technology companies that make our beloved gadgets. A quick recap of the most visible battles includes the Oracle vs Google trial, the Samsung vs Apple global conflagration, the Microsoft vs Motorola case that caused the ban of all Motorola devices in Germany, and the Apple vs HTC debacle, which affected the availability of the One X and the EVO 4G LTE in the USA.
Tech corporations are suing each other like madmen, but unfortunately, their actions mostly affect consumers. We get fewer products on the market, and the products that are available are made dumber. The war is likely to continue for the foreseeable future and the players are accruing weapons at a staggering rate.
A new stash of patents is about to be sold to the highest bidder. On Monday, the patent portfolio of Eastman Kodak, the legendary photography company, will be sold in an auction. Two major forces emerge as potential winners – on one side, Apple allied with Microsoft and patent troll aggregation firm Intellectual Ventures. On the other side, Google got together with the biggest Android OEMs – Samsung, HTC, and LG – along with a patent troll of its own, the RPX Corporation.
The two consortiums will try to win the battle over Eastman Kodak’s 1100 patents, most related to photographic technology. Kodak has a great deal of intellectual property that could prove essential for anyone manufacturing a product that incorporates a digital camera. According to WSJ, alliances are still made and broken, and the situation is still in flux.
As a reminder, it wouldn’t be the first time Google would square off with the Apple-Microsoft team – last year, Google lost the auction for Nortel’s patent trove, which eventually went to the Apple-Microsoft consortium for $4.5 billion. It’s unclear how valuable Kodak’s portfolio is, but experts seem to agree that it is far less valuable than Nortel’s stash.
We’ll keep you posted on any new developments next week.

SOURCE:View the original article here

Hackers can exploit NFC, Chrome browser to take over your Android phone

Despite Google’s valiant attempt to make Android a safer playground for its users by introducing the anti-malware Bouncer service last February, which helps scan apps on Google Play Store for malware and keep them out, experts are still finding security loopholes that can wreak havoc on your Android device.
The first threat we’re going to talk about today comes from the Near Field Communication (NFC) feature on certain Android devices, which is becoming more ubiquitous these days. Though the technology was already used in older phones like the Google Nexus S, released back in 2010, newer devices like Samsung’s Galaxy S3 seem to be finding more uses for it, as NFC is being promoted beyond wireless payment – such as for transferring pictures and other files.
Charlie Miller, a consultant from security firm Accuvant, has recently demonstrated how easy it is to push through malicious code to an Android device. He did it with the help of a device as small as a postage stamp, also known as an NFC tag, by placing it within close proximity to where people would be using their NFC-equipped device the most. This enables the code to be beamed over to the handset, thus allowing hackers to gain full control of the device.
So what you can do to avoid the worst from happening? When it comes to NFC, enabling the feature in combination with Android Beam on your device does leave you with no choice but to accept any incoming transfer – malicious or not. There is currently no mechanism in place where you can select to approve or reject the transfer from other NFC devices. This is obviously something that Google and manufacturers need to address.
The second threat is a security flaw that was found in Google’s Chrome browser for Android. Demonstrating it back in February, Miller, alongside Crowdstrike’s Georg Wicherski, used a piece of software to infect the device through the loophole. The flaw has since been fixed by Google, and those who have updated the browser to its latest version should be relatively safe from such attacks.

SOURCE:View the original article here

Colorful (back) pictures of Sony Xperia J leaked

We first learnt and got a glimpse of the Sony Xperia J – known also as the ST26i – about two weeks ago. If the first round of leaked pictures of the J wasn’t good enough in satisfying your Xperia craving, we have more photos of Sony’s upcoming mid-range phone out in the open.
Bringing the goodies this time is ePrice, where several pictures of the phone – albeit only its backside – has been posted there. But no biggie, since we’ve already seen what the front of the Xperia J looks like anyway.

It looks like the Xperia J will come in white, pink and black colors. It might be the lighting, but the phone appears to have a soft, matte finish on the back.  As previously noted, Sony has finally shed the green liquid energy ball that adorns its past phones, as we now see a much cleaner look on the back.
Specs-wise, the Sony Xperia J comes with a 4-inch display of 854 x480 resolution, single-core 1GHz MSM7627A processor, and possibly a 5MP rear camera with LED flash. This time around, it looks like there won’t be any dedicated camera button. The mid-ranger is expected to ship with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
If the specs of the Xperia J fail to take your breath away, your best bet is to go with the Sony Xperia Mint. We suspect all these new crops of Xperia phones will all be officially announced on August 29 just before IFA 2012 starts.

SOURCE: View the original article here

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Google may deliver broadband for cheap to your area

On the heels of the successful release of the much hailed Nexus 7, comes exciting news from Google: cheaper gigabit broadband coupled with TV. This may not seem like much, but to be honest, in the monopolized realm of US ISP’s, it’s big news. Google just launched its first rollout in the Midwest region and is using an old marketing trick of growing their customer base.
Remember the old Gmail and Google Wave invite?  They plan to use the same idea for this new service in order for it to “go viral”. Google is asking potential customers to tell their neighborhood (Google calls it a fiberhood) so as to minimize visits to your fiberhood and maximize customer base. This results in savings to the customer and thus potential profit to Google. The other great thing about Google’s network is its sturdy and reliable infrastructure: they build their own stuff. Instead of the usual rental broadband equipment (which can go stale in a matter of months) in this fast-paced industry, Google is making its own network on its own production merits, as it were. This can only spell success down the road.
An additional good item to note: Wi-Fi and TV set tops will probably get quick releases because they are Google-made  equipment on the home network. This is unlike the slow release syndrome we’ve seen from smartphone manufacturers.
Overall, this appears to be a giant leap of calculated risk on Google’s part, since they will be going up against other tech companies like Comcast and AT&T. Unlike those two, they will not be relying on the traditional buyout of lower end providers to extend their network, and possibly using dated hardware, and outdated field equipment to deliver promised gigabit speeds. If you are interested to know more details about the HDTV side, you can read up on Google Fiber TV.
If your city is selected, would you be a Google missionary so as to get gigabit goodness on all of your devices? Let us know in the comments below.

SOURCE:View the original article here

BBC Olympics: Bringing the Olympic games to your Android device

BBC is one of the best news channels that keeps us abreast of all the important events around the globe, from local news up to the events of international significance. With the London Olympics now in motion, BBC also prepared something for Android users–the BBC Olympics app for Android–to keep them updated on the important happenings of this long-awaited international event.
The app lets you stream videos of the Olympic games right to your Android live or on demand, along with news updates, commentaries, and interviews from BBC journalists themselves.  It’s
Get exclusive Olympics news fast and easy through the app, so you won’t need to miss out on spectacular Olympic moments and highlights free of charge. It would make things easier, particularly for die-hard fans who want to keep track of their favorite athletes.

Upon launching the app, you are instantly welcomed by a neat and clean interface, intuitive and user friendly, not to mention classy yet simple with the yellow and black color combination.
When you tap the Menu icon on the upper right of the screen, it then reveals to you all the underlying options. The Menu contains starting points for your close monitoring of the Olympics coverage from BBC, so from the Menu, you can go to the schedule of games, live broadcasts, news on all sports, medal winners, a special section for the U.K. team, BBC’s coverage of the games, and more.

Aside from providing you with news to digest, the app also includes several extra perks for you to enjoy. For instance, you may opt to read about the top stories during the Olympic games, read daily text commentaries by BBC journalists, or watch video highlights of the games.
You can watch the Olympics live with up to 24 live video streams on either 3G or Wi-Fi connection. It’s also worth mentioning that the app includes relevant Olympic contents for every Olympic event, and information on competing countries and every participating athlete.

If you find interesting stuff — news and feature stories, videos, or game results — you can easily share them via popular social networks or email. Judging from the features and the interface of this app, it does make quite an impression especially with the fact that it’s developed just for such a short, though big, Olympic event.
On the other hand, upon reviewing this app, I noticed a few flaws that could potentially sour the moods of some users. Based on Flash instead of HTML 5, the BBC Olympics app sometimes plays videos erratically, or not at all in some instances (can dampen a fan’s Olympic spirit, you know), but considering that it’s dedicated to that one event (i.e., the Olympics), it’s quite a handy app and a must-have for fans of the Olympic games.
The games have begun, but if you have not done so as yet, download BBC Olympics free from the Google Play Store, and let the Olympic games begin on your Android device.

SOURCE:  View the original article here